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Kodai Iwamoto

Tokyo, Japan | Wood: red oak

Kodai Iwamoto, born in Kagoshima, Japan, is a product designer and artist who began his study of product design at Kobe Design University in Japan. While working on his bachelor's degree there, he joined DESIGN SOIL, an educational design project run by teaching staff and students. Through the project, Iwamoto participated in several international design fairs such as Milan Design Week. Iwamoto then moved to Lausanne in Switzerland for 2 years to gain practical skills on a masters course at ECAL. Iwamoto has since moved his base to Tokyo and has been actively working with furniture brands both in Japan and abroad. His work raises questions about the current social structure that relies heavily on mass production, pursuing convenience and efficiency. He expresses the present situation, where the production can't be stopped even though the impact upon the environment is concerned in all aspects, by applying the technique and approach of product design.

For his project, Iwamoto researched traditional Japanese techniques, such as uzukuri (giving texture to wood by scrubbing) and chouna (chiselling the surface with an adze), and then started experimenting directly on the wood, peeling its layers to create a new veneer. These imperfectly textured panels became the starting point for a design exploration that landed him on a round table shape, featuring the subtle material as the base to create the effect of an ancient tree trunk.